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Author Topic: Do I have the right to refuse this search?
Pyrtolin
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quote:
everything else that remains is just a shell game. Agreed, Pyrtolin, that it is a shell game with the barest vestige of legality, but any court that didn't have its collective head up its bum would toss this out on its ear, not say 'why, in this state of heightened threat, we /need/ to circumvent these bothersome restrictions!'

Exactly, which is why I hope that the TSA does push for a suit here so it can open up a possibility for better pushback. Either that or people are going to have to find more creative forms of civil disobedience to really get the point across.

The most amusing suggestion I've heard so far is to go ahead and drop your bags on the scanner, then your shoes, your socks, shirt, etc... all the way down.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by G2:
Yes, it has everything to do with the point. Quit playing with your plums for a moment and think.

The TSA can and does force you to be searched. Use Google and do a search beyond the limited personal perceptions you're applying to this. You might want to see what's happening out in the real world, it ain't what you suppose is happening.

Show me one case where it's grabbed a person at random and searched them or otherwise has not limited its activity to people trying to pass a security checkpoint and I'll fully agree that they've passed from simply being wrong into outright illegal activity.
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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Show me one case where it's grabbed a person at random and searched them or otherwise has not limited its activity to people trying to pass a security checkpoint and I'll fully agree that they've passed from simply being wrong into outright illegal activity.

Now you're weasling: "trying to pass a security checkpoint", "grabbed a person at random". They can and do searches anywhere they set up a checkpoint (which is anywhere they want really).

You were all het up about taking laptops but find sexual assault OK. Look, you know this type of invasive search is wrong. This contract angle you're trying is misguided too.

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Chael
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G2, he is /not/ arguing that he finds it okay. He's arguing that it's not illegal, and he's even arguing that it's not illegal /because/ the government is weaselling. Cut him some slack. [Wink]

(Edited to add) Pyrtolin: That would be pretty amusing. It would get them arrested for indecent exposure, but it would also garner this issue more publicity. Hmmm. [Wink]

[ November 17, 2010, 04:16 PM: Message edited by: Chael ]

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
The most amusing suggestion I've heard so far is to go ahead and drop your bags on the scanner, then your shoes, your socks, shirt, etc... all the way down.

They'd arrest you almost immediately. And you'd miss your flight. And they won't let you through without proof of a flight. So are you willing to book a flight, just so you can get miss it to get arrested?

One flight in Pittsburgh a few years ago, I went to take off my shoes for the scanner. Something I had done for several flights over the previous month already and the guard shouted at me to put my shoes back on. Apparently at Pittsburgh, they didn't require your shoes to go through the Xray, yet.

The very next week on the return trip to Pittsburgh, I had to take my shoes off. I understand that they didn't require you to take your shoes off, but the standard policy of rudeness with TSA is sickening. He could have politely told me that they didn't require it or just let me go ahead an do it. It certainly took longer at that point to put my shoes back on than it would to have let me walk through the metal detector without them on.

They might as well be NKVD border security. And soon they get to unionize. It's hard to imagine TSA any less efficient and ruder, but I''m sure it's coming.

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LoverOfJoy
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quote:
Originally posted by Chael:

(Edited to add) Pyrtolin: That would be pretty amusing. It would get them arrested for indecent exposure, but it would also garner this issue more publicity. Hmmm. [Wink]

Or go commando and wear really loose pants and let them "accidentally" knock your pants down as they're patting you down. Then they are the ones that could get arrested. [Exploding]
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
They'd arrest you almost immediately. And you'd miss your flight. And they won't let you through without proof of a flight. So are you willing to book a flight, just so you can get miss it to get arrested?
That's what civil disobediance is all about, really. Breaking the law and taking the stripes to make a statement.

Of course, it also depends on local ordinances. As I understand it,you might actually just some funny looks at, say, SFO because public nudity is permissible under certain circumstances, which roughly include making political statements.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by LoverOfJoy:
quote:
Originally posted by Chael:

(Edited to add) Pyrtolin: That would be pretty amusing. It would get them arrested for indecent exposure, but it would also garner this issue more publicity. Hmmm. [Wink]

Or go commando and wear really loose pants and let them "accidentally" knock your pants down as they're patting you down. Then they are the ones that could get arrested. [Exploding]
Going for a kilt under similar circumstances would at least be likely to lead to a bit of awkwardness. especially if you go a little heavy on lubricant (to keep you legs from getting brushburn, honest)
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Chael
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Going for a kilt under similar circumstances would at least be likely to lead to a bit of awkwardness. especially if you go a little heavy on lubricant (to keep you legs from getting brushburn, honest)

Oh, /excellent/ idea. Except they'd probably decide on a no-searching-people-with-kilts policy, sub rosa. I mean, that's something they can see and evade ahead of time, right? [Wink]
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OpsanusTau
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Speaking of checkpoints - I got stopped and had my vehicle searched at a checkpoint the other day. Which wouldn't have been surprising if, you know, I'd been trying to cross a national border or something.

As it was, I was trying to drive on a road in New York, but apparently by getting a driver's license I agreed to have my vehicle searched whenever the men with guns decide they want to.
Or, no, right - sorry, just being in a car is probable cause. That's how THAT one is legal.

~~~

I find the argument that full-body scans and/or genital palpation is allowed by the Constitution because, obv, the 4th amendment only applies to the federal government ridiculous.

Someone already put the text of it up - read it over again. It uses the passive voice. My right to security in my own person shall not be violated without probable cause. Who is restricted from violating me is not specified, which means that it's a general restriction.

I'm ready for my Thanksgiving travels. I actually don't think they have the fancy scanners at any of the airports I'll be using, but if they do, I'm not being scanned. And I'm also not being touched in my pudendum by a man. And I'm writing down the name of anyone who is going to touch me in the pudendum.

It's funny - I don't really mind being patted down thoroughly in airports in other countries, and it happens with fair frequency. But, you know - they don't make such a production of it (there is a person of the appropriate sex to do the patting, and they say, I'm going to pat you down now, and that's the end of it), and they also don't necessarily have our civil rights.

Cherry, I'm with you about the cancer risk. It's just ridiculous. We MONITOR our radiation exposure when we perform radiographs, etc - DNA damage is not a joke! I haven't had my children yet!

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Daruma28
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As it was, I was trying to drive on a road in New York, but apparently by getting a driver's license I agreed to have my vehicle searched whenever the men with guns decide they want to.
Or, no, right - sorry, just being in a car is probable cause. That's how THAT one is legal.


One thing about this: many times cops will purposely try to intimidate or imply that they have the right do things that they really don't...but if you consent to a search, than they do have that right.

I'm ready for my Thanksgiving travels. I actually don't think they have the fancy scanners at any of the airports I'll be using, but if they do, I'm not being scanned. And I'm also not being touched in my pudendum by a man. And I'm writing down the name of anyone who is going to touch me in the pudendum.

Supposedly pat downs will always be done by a same-sex TSA agent...and they are supposed to only use the back of their hand to touch your groin area.

If I have no choice, and have to fly, and I have to either choose radiation or groping by a TSA deviant, I'll suck it up and take the groping.

One things for sure though...our "post-9-11" world is resembling more and more of a police state.

Pray for revolution.

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philnotfil
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quote:
Originally posted by OpsanusTau:
Speaking of checkpoints - I got stopped and had my vehicle searched at a checkpoint the other day. Which wouldn't have been surprising if, you know, I'd been trying to cross a national border or something.

As it was, I was trying to drive on a road in New York, but apparently by getting a driver's license I agreed to have my vehicle searched whenever the men with guns decide they want to.
Or, no, right - sorry, just being in a car is probable cause. That's how THAT one is legal.

If you are within 100 miles of the border your vehicle is subject to search without any other provocation.
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Daruma28
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http://wewontfly.com/
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LetterRip
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Regarding the cancer risk, a reasonable argument has been made that skin cancer, testicular cancer, and other tissues near the surface have a reasonable likelihood of increasing due to the scanners, especially given that the groin is focused on for the scanning technology. Unfortunately the TSA/FDA has dismissed all concerns out of hand.
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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Someone already put the text of it up - read it over again. It uses the passive voice. My right to security in my own person shall not be violated without probable cause. Who is restricted from violating me is not specified, which means that it's a general restriction.
The use of passive voice doesn't change the scope of the document. Heck, until the 14th amendment was passed, the Federal government couldn't even force the states to uphold individual protections internally. The scope of the constitution is the Federal government and, to a lesser degree, the state governments.

But again, per the guy above, you are free to refuse the search. There are no criminal penalties for doing so. The guy refused to be searched and he was not searched. But, by the same token, the airline doesn't have to let him aboard, and he can be sued per the listed penalty for such a breach in his contract, so now we'll hopefully get to see if the legislative branch can actually fulfill its role as a check of this kind of nonsense and at least toss the case out, if not actively take a hatchet to the regulation because of how fundamentally abusive it is.

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Colin JM0397
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Ops, was the National Guard participating? There was a story of them doing that earlier this year in upstate for "guns and drugs" scans. In some cases they even have a full-vehicle version of the naked scanners. You think the backscatter will scramble your ovaries, what do you think a full car x-ray will do?

That said, as a few have pointed out, they will try to bully you into it, and it is bound to be quite inconvenient to you if you refuse, but you are within your rights to refuse a vehicle search.

The big thing, like at the airport, is to clearly state "I do not consent to any searches". "I am not resisting and will comply with any lawful requests."

Then you have to clearly ask "Am I being detained" and if they cannot answer yes, then you state "since I am not being detained, I can only assume I am free to go so I am leaving". If you listen to the dude’s recording at the airport that’s causing all this stink, he used this technique.

Of course, leaving can be difficult in a roadblock where they are, more or less, detaining you from proceeding. Also, the trick from what I understand is to have drug dogs there and, for anyone who refuses, to claim the dog alerted to your car – there is the “probable cause”.

We all have to make the choice – submit, or enact in some civil disobedience to make a point and be prepared for them to come down hard on us.

-------------------------

Searches in NY - http://www.thenewamerican.com/index.php/usnews/constitution/3978-ny-national-guard-violate-posse-comitatus

Their rational for Posse Comitatus violations are iffy if the troops used are National Guard. If they are Reserve or Active army, then it is a clear violation.

[ November 18, 2010, 08:56 AM: Message edited by: Colin JM0397 ]

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Colin JM0397
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Just found this - seems accurate and has a listing of roadblocks by state: http://www.roadblock.org/whattodo.htm
quote:
The point of the above discussion is to suggest that you engage the roadblock process from the standpoint that the current courts find them legal and a legitimate law enforcement tactic. Therefore, there is little to gain by launching into a tirade over the constitutionality of roadblocks, at least while you are stopped at one. However, this is not to say that all your rights are null and void once you enter a roadblock.

First, the police do not have the authority to search you or your vehicle, not without probable cause that you have, or are committing a crime. They may ask your permission for a search---which means they do not have legal grounds to force a search. Never permit a voluntary search of your person or your vehicle. The police may try to cajole you into permitting a search. The old ruse, "if you don't have anything to hide, why object to a search?" should be ignored, or met with a response that you value your right to privacy and do not consent to a search of your vehicle.

If, under any set of circumstances, the police force a search of your vehicle, assume the worse case scenario. If they can't find anything illegal in your vehicle, they will place something in your vehicle that will justify their search. This is a sad commentary on the state of affairs, but these events should be expected in a schizophrenic society that employs police state tactics to intimidate common citizens.


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Pyrtolin
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Absolutely. But also keep in mind- civil disobedience means gracefully accepting the consequences. Be clear, calm and polite, get badge numbers or other ID but don't take any action actually gives them legal authority to act. If the they put you under arrest, rightly or wrongly, don't fight it just add it to your complaints later; if you try to resist arrest it's very likely that you'll lose almost all of the legal ground that you have to stand on.

Don't offer anything more than name, address, a basic statement of what your intent is, and "Am I being detained?" If you say anything more than that, then what you actually said becomes irrelevant once its the cop's word against yours in front of a judge, and the cop wins that fight.

This even goes if they try to do worse than an illegal arrest- protect yourself from serious harm, but don't strike back. Hitting an officer, even in self defense strips you of just about any legal protection you have. (Reasonable caveats apply- if your life is on the line, the legal high ground isn't quite as important any more)

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Colin JM0397
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If it gets that bad, it's also a good idea to vocally state (for anyone within hearing range) "I am not resisting, but I do not consent".
One trick I've seen cops use - on video, at least - is to hold someone down while pummeling them and shouting "quit resisting". I’ve also heard of cases where all other charges are dropped, but they stick the person with resisting arrest.

Kind of the real life version of South Park's "THEY'RE COMING RIGHT AT US!!!"

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cb
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OK so here's my plan. I will follow the advise given her and refuse a scan and opt for the body search stating loudly "I am not resisting, but I do not consent" and then when the pat down begins I will reenact the Meg Ryan's restaurant scene in "When Harry Met Sally". Mutual humiliation. [Big Grin]
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Colin JM0397
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The NJ legislature takes action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9H9HNEtrvEE&feature=player_embedded#!
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cb
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quote:
Originally posted by Daruma28:


Pray for revolution.

Civil disobedience and lawsuits will be sufficient. We just have to stop saying, "Well, as long as it keeps me safe."
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cb
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quote:
Originally posted by Colin JM0397:
The NJ legislature takes action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9H9HNEtrvEE&feature=player_embedded#!

THANK YOU MIKE DOHERTY!!!!!
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G2
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A little comparison to then and now.

quote:
As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.

Our founding fathers faced with perils that we can scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations.

Those ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience's sake.

That's from Barack Obama’s inaugural address, January 2009. If only Barry really believed that... [Crying]
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OpsanusTau
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For sure. [Frown]

eta:
I wasn't really super upset about the vehicle search, and didn't see the point of discussing it with the men with guns - I really didn't have anything to hide, wanted to get home, and complying took less time than talking to them about it would have done, especially since I had already stopped the car and waited in line for a while.

I can't get super worked up about people looking in my car; but I can get pretty worked up about being required to choose between taking a dose of radiation (which no research supports as safe) on my skin or letting a stranger stick his hands in my crotch.

(The devil inside me thinks it would be super funny if a lot of ladies with no particular issues about hands in the crotch started flying wearing skirts and no underpants. Or peeing on the searcher. "Oops! So sorry, I guess I just felt uncomfortable!")

[ November 18, 2010, 05:20 PM: Message edited by: OpsanusTau ]

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Pyrtolin
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You could take that up a notch in a similar way to the kilt.

Bonus points for creative use of food coloring...

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Mariner
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The weekend before last I was in Corpus Christie's airport. While there, amid all the annoying announcements about what color terrorism was today, was an announcement that making fun of the TSA will result in some sort of fine or other punishment.

Not only are they killing the 4th amendment, but the 1st is apparently out the window too.

(In all fairness, that may have been an airport-specific warning and not a nationwide policy. I didn't hear it in any other airport that trip, and I haven't heard anyone else mention it, but yeesh. And it does go along with the "don't touch my junk" thing. Do we surrender all of our rights to the TSA?)

I'm not sure I can agree with Pyrtolin's assertion that this is all legal because of the contract to carry that is implicitly signed when the ticket is bought. I looked up Delta's contract just out of curiosity, and here's what it says: "Delta may refuse to transport any passenger, and may remove any passenger from its aircraft at any time, for any of the following reasons: ...When a passenger refuses to permit search of his person or property for explosives, weapons, dangerous materials, or other prohibited items." Now yes, that does say you basically agree to have your person searched. But it only says that you can be refused entry on the plane, not that you can be fined for it.

It's also incredibly vague on what sort of search is allowed. And that is problematic. The searches now are very troubling, either because of the potential harm to your body or because of the thin line between the pat downs and sexual assault. So how much further do we allow this to go? Many people have already pointed out that there's no reason - if security is the main concern - that people shouldn't be subjected to cavity searches. Where do you draw the line? What if they discover a terrorist who swallowed his bomb before detonating it. Can the TSA order immediate operations to look up the contents of our stomachs? A line needs to be drawn somewhere, and I'm with Captain Picard on this one. Let's draw it here.

The biggest terrorism concern with planes is that they can be used as missiles, a la 9/11. If a plane blows up in midair, it's tragic, but not as devastating as taking out some skyscrapers. And nothing the TSA is doing is preventing another human missile style attack, because we are already completely defended against that now (unless a terrorist becomes a commercial airline pilot, but I digress). So why the big show? There are other ways of causing as much damage, havoc, and death as a plane blowing up that doesn't require bypassing as much security.

It is definitely time to tone the security down at the airports. They've crossed the line.

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
There are other ways of causing as much damage, havoc, and death as a plane blowing up that doesn't require bypassing as much security.
For example, attacking the line of people waiting to try to get through security. That's a disaster waiting to happen it and of itself.
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Wayward Son
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Sorry if this was all ready posted. I just came across it.

An actual example of someone who refused to be searched and was expelled from the airport.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by OpsanusTau:
I find the argument that full-body scans and/or genital palpation is allowed by the Constitution because, obv, the 4th amendment only applies to the federal government ridiculous.

Ridiculous or not, it did only apply to the federal government when written (this applies to the rest of the Bill of Rights as well), but was expanded to apply to state governments as well.

There are only two Amendments which a private citizen, acting in a private capacity, can violate.

The first is the 13th Amemendment. Own, buy, or sell a slave, and you're violating the constitution.

There's only one other way that you can violate the constitution as a private citizen acting in a private capacity. And most Americans have probably done it at one time or another. Any guesses?

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OpsanusTau
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Well - I mean I know that's how it's been interpreted.

I just find it ... not terribly convincing, to claim that a statement carefully made in the passive voice actually only applies to one particular kind of actor.

I know I'm not going to change the collective mind of the American legal system, and I'm not going to try. But at the same time, my personal conviction is that nobody has the authority to touch me without my consent; anyone doing so is using inappropriate and illegitimate force.

FWIW. Which is not much. I know.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by OpsanusTau:
Well - I mean I know that's how it's been interpreted.

I just find it ... not terribly convincing, to claim that a statement carefully made in the passive voice actually only applies to one particular kind of actor.

It's context. Tenth Amendment would be virtually meaningless otherwise.

You think the 4th Amendment should restrict private actors? Parents need to get a warrant to search their kids' sock drawer?

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by OpsanusTau:
But at the same time, my personal conviction is that nobody has the authority to touch me without my consent; anyone doing so is using inappropriate and illegitimate force.

That's a strong natural rights argument, and I tend to agree with you. Government exists in order to secure rights. But not all rights are in the bill of rights.
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Chael
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Hmm. I have to guess, now, Pete. Are you referring to article four of amendment fourteen? [Wink]

"4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned."

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Pete at Home
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Thanks for a delicious spoof of the passive voice argument. [Big Grin] What do you think, OT? If you or I questions the national debt, are we violating the 14th Amendment? [Smile]

No; I think that clause 4 of Amendment 14 is a clear instruction to the courts, not to private citizens. The one that I'm referring to is a later amendment. And probably violated far more often than federal debt is questioned!

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Pyrtolin
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21, section 2. Living in PA, especially, I know plenty of people that hop over the border for booze to get away from our inane state system.
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Pyrtolin
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Amusingly enough, the one time when I'd actually have had the opportunity to violate that one, I was already in MD before I remembered that I wanted to pick something up (which is where the friend that I was visiting lived anyway)

I was tempted to pick up mead in WVa once when I saw it at a gas station, but couldn't afford it at the time. I think PA has finally listed some options in that regard, so it's possible to get here now, but the overall situation is still absurd.

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Pete at Home
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Pyr is correct.

quote:
Section 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.
This clause could not reasonably be restricted in application to state and federal governments.

I wonder if airlines investigate the licor laws of every state that they fly over. When flying over Kansas, and serving alcohol on Sunday, the airline may be violating the constitution. [Big Grin]

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DonaldD
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quote:
There's only one other way that you can violate the constitution as a private citizen acting in a private capacity. And most Americans have probably done it at one time or another. Any guesses?
But "in violation of the laws thereof"? Do most states still have laws against drinking liquor?
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TSA Administrator John Pistole weighs in:
quote:
The changes close gaps identified both by would-be terrorists and by government investigators who covertly try to smuggle weapons through to test the effectiveness of screening, said TSA Administrator John Pistole.

"If you have two planes, one where people are thoroughly and properly screened and the other where people could opt out of screening, which would you want to be on?" he asked.

See what he did? This is the false dichotomy logical fallacy. It's either submit to molestation by TSA goons or nothing at all. Gee John, no reasonable middle ground here?
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